BOUGHT THE FARM
A salute to our fallen Veterans on Memorial Day Weekend
Meaning: To die, particularly in an accident or military action.
Origin: Many think this saying comes from the idea that death benefits paid to one's family, especially from the armed forces, were at one time enough to pay off the mortgage to the home, or farm, for the family the deceased left behind. Or, possibly a cynical reference to a common sentiment held by draftees, expressing the desire to settle down and buy a farm when the war is over.
While the origin of this phrase is uncertain. It is 20th century and all the early references to it relate to the US military. The New York Times Magazine, March 1954, had a related phrase, in a glossary of jet pilots' slang:
"Bought a plot, had a fatal crash."
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “buy” as to suffer some mishap; to get killed; to die;
The earliest use of “buy” in this sense dates to 1825, more than a century before the earliest appearance of “buy the farm”.
In this sense “the farm” is a slang to reference to a burial plot (i.e. a piece of ground). “Buy a plot” appeared around the time of “buy the farm” meaning the same thing.
Farm Sayings Friday is weekly feature of Yield Starts Here. You might think your grandparents made it up, but that old saying likely goes back many years. In this feature we will figure out who said it first and what it really means! Do you have a well used saying in your family, send to us and we'll feature it in a future blog.
Yield Starts Here is a blog for farmers, focusing on increasing yield and profitability by focusing on the soil. It is managed by Craig Dick, a Blogronomist and Sales and Marketing Manager at Calcium Products. Find other articles by Craig and guest writers at http://blog.calciumproducts.com/ .